Monday, March 28, 2011

Chrome Rocks!

There are a number of disadvantages to being an early adopter. One of those is becoming so discouraged with all the bugs and glitches in the new product that you stop using it, even when everything's fixed and the new product becomes Best of Breed.

Even when the new product becomes much better than the siht you're using now.

That was me two years ago, with the Google Chrome browser... I tried it... Crash! Kaboom!... and immediately ran back into the arms of Firefox and IE.

Now, Firefox and IE have driven me in the other direction; here's the story, step-by-step...

  • The other day Firefox 3.6 insisted on downloading some new patches, but

  • Norton Internet Security quarantined a critical component in that download, then

  • Firefox (not unexpectedly) refused to start without that component, making it clear that

  • (who am I to argue?) this is Mozilla's way of telling me to upgrade, and when

  • I downloaded Firefox 4 it seemed to work OK, until

  • Firefox 4 started going Crash! Kaboom! every time I touched Gmail, plus

  • the rest of it was cluttered and confusing and just plain ugly, so for some (hitherto unexplained and clearly irrational) reason

  • I decided to try Internet Explorer 9 and that seemed to go OK, except for the fact

  • the new GUI is so completely hosed up that it can't even display the Minimize / Maximize / Close icons properly, plus

  • the rest of it was cluttered and confusing and just plain ugly, leaving me...

"What have I got to lose? Let's try Chrome again!"

Wow! What a difference two years makes! Not only is Chrome fast, Fast, FAST!
  • it works with Gmail (surprise, surprise),

  • it doesn't mess up the display, and

  • the GUI is clean, Clean, CLEAN!
Plus, it got Today's Cool New Features like
  • dragging a tab to create a separate window,

  • dragging tabs between windows,

  • an "Inspect element" feature that includes an execution profiler...

  • and a convenient Console for in-your-face displays of JavaScript errors...

My experience with Chrome has been so much better than Firefox and IE that I've already made it my default browser, and I'm going to include "Start Foxhound via Chrome" shortcuts in the next release of Foxhound.

What's wrong with Chrome?

Here are the problems I've had so far, with workarounds:
  • There's no window <TITLE> bar: if the page titles don't all fit on the tab bar, you can use a hover-over text box to see each one in turn.

  • It's hard to find where to set options: click on the wrench icon to see a menu; if the option you want isn't in "Options", you might find it in "Tools".

  • It's easy to get the bookmark bar confused with the tab bar: you could turn off the bookmark bar, but it's really handy so just get used to it.

  • Chrome isn't anywhere near as popular as Firefox or IE: that I don't understand, especially for geeks and nerds; here are the browser stats for this blog:

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